What is Secret (SCRT)? Ask Quentin Tarantino

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino auctioned seven NFTs on the Secret Network blockchain in 2021

Photo of Pulp Fiction merchandise                                 
Secret is supported by a range of development teams, including Enigma and Secret Foundation - Photo: Shutterstock
                                

Contents

While many crypto enthusiasts may argue the “openness” of blockchain is a defining and integral characteristic of the technology, Secret Network does not agree, and apparently neither does Quentin Tarantino.

In November 2021, Tarantino created seven uncut scenes from his 1994 film Pulp Fiction as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Secret (SCRT) platform, no doubt raising the exposure of the Israel-based start-up.

Auctioned on Open Sea, each NFT contained “secret” content, viewable only to owner of the NFT. Extracts from scripts were apparently included as well as previously unheard commentary.

In response to the auction, Tarantino said: “I’m excited to be presenting these exclusive scenes from Pulp Fiction to fans. Secret Network and Secret NFTs provide a whole new world of connecting fans and artists and I’m thrilled to be a part of that.”

So what is Secret (SCRT)? And how does it work?

Founder of Secret 

Guy Zyskind is the founder and CEO of SCRT Labs, the driving force behind Secret Network. Before starting SCRT Labs in June 2016 in Tel Aviv, Israel, Zyskind co-founded and acted as CTO for Tamkix, a business development manager. He graduated in electrical engineering from Tel Aviv University, before completing an MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016.

Nir Zyskind is the director of business development and operations at SCRT Labs. Nir co-founded Tamkix alongside his brother Guy. He was also the CEO. For nearly five years Zyskind was a sales and account manager at IVC Research Centre in Tel Aviv. He studied mass communication and business administration at a university in Israel.

The original concept for Secret (SCRT) was developed in a series of privacy research papers written at MIT in 2015. One, called “Decentralizing Privacy”, is now a well-cited paper in the crypto space.

Overview of Secret (SCRT)

According to Secret, while blockchains are open and accessible, crypto cannot properly realise its Web3 ambitions. By failing to consider the importance of privacy and not taking steps to alter the ecosystem in order to preserve privacy, the network claims the use for crypto in the mainstream will remain limited. For organisations to feel comfortable in adopting blockchain technology, they need to know how their data is being used and shared, according to Secret Network.

Unlike current blockchains, which are public by default, and which put users and their data at risk, Secret cryptocurrency claims to be the first blockchain with data privacy at its heart.

But is this project legit? Let’s take a closer look at the core features. 

How does Secret work?  

The Secret project uses trusted execution environments to “enable secure private computation over encrypted data.” With data encrypted on the platform, users have viewing keys, used to gain access to this sensitive data. They can then control who they share this data with, be it auditors, wallets or explorers.

When it comes to smart contracts, defined as self-executing pieces of code managed on blockchain, Secret supports encrypted inputs, and outputs. This means the data belonging to the individuals involved in the smart contracts is no longer accessible to the public.

Secret Finance encompasses all decentralised finance apps powered by smart contracts. According to the project’s website, individuals can be assured their sensitive data is protected. Account balances and wallet activity are also concealed, meaning individuals can no longer engage in front-running. This is when individuals, predicting a large buy or sell-off is about to occur from a wallet, profit from this information.

In order to navigate the system, users need to hold the network’s native token, SCRT. But how exactly does the token work and what is Secret cryptocurrency used for?

The SCRT coin

SCRT is the native token of Secret Network. Users are required to hold SCRT to gain access to applications on the ecosystem. The token can be used for governance, staking as well as network fees.

The secretSCRT is where it gets interesting. The secretSCRT is the wrapped privacy token of the SCRT token. Pegged 1:1 with SCRT, holders can easily convert between the two tokens using the Keplr wallet.

There are currently 157.4 million SCRT coins in circulation. Ranked 114 by CoinGecko, the Secret Network has a current market cap of $884m (£645.76m).

The price of SCRT coin has surged eightfold in the past year, however it has lost 17% in the past seven days. As of 11 January 2022, the coin is worth $5.61.

Final thoughts

Privacy is a double-edged sword. SCRT puts forward the story that the network is protecting users from the data-mining activities increasingly adopted by tech monopolies.

However, for a sector already heavily criticised for incubating money launderers and market manipulators, increased privacy is not an unequivocally good thing. No longer being able to see the activity in wallets means there is even less way of knowing whether whales are working together to sink or raise the price of a particular crypto asset. Front-running, while not ideal, is a way for smaller traders to potentially get ahead of a curve which would otherwise exclusively benefit big whales.

While some elements of the platform, like Tarantino’s “secret“ NFTs seems innovative and fun, other features seem concerning.

Total privacy combined with total lack of regulation when it comes to DeFi appears problematic.

There are currently 157.4 million SCRT coins in circulation.

Guy Zyskind is the founder and CEO of SCRT Labs, the driving force behind Secret Network.

Secret (SCRT) claims to be much more secure than other blockchains, because privacy of data is the default. Users have more control over who they share their data with. 

Further reading:

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